Delhi Daredevils, Gujarat Lions To Battle It Out For Supremacy
Both teams have had a near perfect run this IPL.
It will be a test of character and a battle for supremacy when Delhi Daredevils and Gujarat Lions lock horns against each other at the Feroze Shah Kotla in Delhi on Wednesday.
Barring one bad day, both Daredevils and Gujarat Lions have had a near perfect campaign so far in the tournament.
While the Gujarat Lions are in the second spot with eight points from five matches, the Daredevils are in the third position with six points from four games.
After the loss to Kolkata Knight Riders in their tournament opener, the Daredevils bounced back riding on collective efforts to comfortably beat Kings XI Punjab, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians in their next three games to surge ahead in the points table.
Gujarat Lions too had a dream debut in their opening IPL season, having won three consecutive games – against Kings XI Punjab, Rising Pune Supergiants and Mumbai Indians – before slumping to their only loss against Sunrisers Hyderabad. The Suresh Raina-led side, however, came back strong to get the better of a star-studded Royal Challengers Bangalore in their last game.
And come Wednesday, both Daredevils and Gujarat Lions will be desperate to upstage each other to prove their supremacy.
Carlos Brathwaite, who became the toast of the cricketing world after hitting England’s Ben Stokes for four consecutive sixes to win the ICC World T20 final for the West Indies, is again likely to sit out as Daredevils are not expected to tinker with their winning combination.
On the bowling front, Daredevils have experience with captain Zaheer leading the pack. Both Zaheer and Chris Morris have been exceptional in the death overs against Mumbai Indians, however, Mohammad Shami could be a cause of concern for the side.
If Zaheer and Morris were impressive in the death overs against Mumbai Indians, it is Amit Mishra, regarded as India’s best leg-spinner currently, and South African Imran Tahir who set the platform for the win with their brilliant spell in the middle overs.
On the other hand, Gujarat Lions’ has been a fairytale story so far in the tournament. The debutants started their maiden journey with an impressive performance in first three games but suffered a loss against Sunrisers Hyderabad before getting their campaign back on track with a win against RCB in their last game.
Come Wednesday, the Lions would be eyeing another win which will enable them to upstage Kolkata Knight Riders from the top of the points table.
The Lions batting revolves around Dwayne Smith, Aaron Finch and Brendon McCullum, followed by the likes of Raina, Dwayne Bravo and Dinesh Karthik.
McCullum is yet to show his full potential, even as Finch had struck three back-to-back half centuries in first three games, failing only against Sunrisers Hyderabad.
The two all-rounders, Bravo and Ravindra Jadeja, are also expected to come in handy.
But it is the team’s bowling department which looks a little weak as James Faulkner and Praveen Kumar are yet to sparkle.
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